Archive | Canadian Media Resource Articles

As growth plans return at gold miners, are investors being set up for disappointment? – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – February 17, 2017)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Canada’s leading gold companies are once again turning their attention to new projects, as resilient bullion prices and healthier balance sheets fuel guarded optimism.

The shift in emphasis was clear as senior executives discussed earnings reports with analysts on Thursday. A year ago the talk was all about cutting costs, selling assets and expanding free cash flow, but miners are now stressing growth opportunities too.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. said it was planning to invest more than $1.2-billion (U.S.) in two mines in Canada’s North. Goldcorp Inc. reiterated its commitment to expanding its production by 20 per cent over the next five years. Continue Reading →

Sherritt considering full exit from Madagascar mine project to reduce debt – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – February 17, 2017)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

JOHANNESBURG — After months of negotiations with its partners, Sherritt International Corp. is still considering a complete exit from its costly joint venture in Madagascar as it struggles to reduce its huge debt burden.

The Toronto-based company owns 40 per cent of the Ambatovy nickel and cobalt mine in Madagascar, which cost more than $5-billion (U.S.) to develop. Last year, it announced a $1.6-billion (Canadian) writedown of the value of its stake in the mine, where it is also the operator.

After borrowing about $650-million (U.S.) from its partners to pay for its share of developing the mine, Sherritt has seen this loan balloon to about $1.3-billion (Canadian) on its balance sheet as the interest compounded, according to David Pathe, Sherritt’s chief executive officer. “It’s an enormous debt number for a company our size,” Mr. Pathe said in an interview at an African mining conference in Cape Town. Continue Reading →

Finally it’s safe for the whistleblowers of corrupted climate science to speak out – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – February 17, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Whistleblowers at the U.S. government’s official keeper of the global warming stats, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), claim their agency doctored temperature data to hide the fact that global temperatures plateaued almost 20 years ago.

Can the whistleblowers be believed in this claim, originally made in 2015? And in the further claim that NOAA then rushed this doctored data into print in time for the UN’s Paris global warming summit of world leaders, to dupe any doubters that the planet was in fact overheated?

Of course the whistleblowers can be believed, and not just because NOAA repeatedly stonewalled inquiries, even failing to comply with a congressional subpoena. No one paying attention can have any doubt that the governmental global warming enterprise has been a fraud. It’s been lies from the start, starting with the very mandate of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which astonishingly ruled out factors like the sun as being worthy of investigation. Continue Reading →

Barrick Gold Corp earnings beat expectations on lower production costs, boosts quarterly dividend – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 16, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp. raised its dividend Wednesday after fourth-quarter earnings beat analysts’ expectations as it lowered its cost of producing gold closer to its US$700 target. The Toronto-based mining giant, which reports in U.S. dollars, reported net income of $425 million, or 36 cents per share.

After adjustments, net income for the quarter was $255 million, or 22 cents a share — a 180 per cent jump from the $91 million, or eight cents per share it earned in the fourth quarter of 2015. Analysts were expecting earnings of $227 million, or 20 cents per share.

The company credited increases in realized gold and copper prices and lower costs of sale for the improvements. “Barrick’s operations delivered progressively-stronger performance over the course of 2016, with three consecutive quarters of improved all-in sustaining cost guidance and gold production at the high end of our annual production forecast,” the company said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Agnico to Invest $1.2 Billion in Gold Projects in Canada’s North – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 15, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. plans to invest more than $1.2 billion in Canada’s subarctic in the next three years as it builds one new mine and expands another.

North America’s fourth-largest gold miner by market value is moving ahead with plans to develop its Meliadine project and a deposit near its Meadowbank mine in Nunavut, the company said Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings statement. The decision will boost Agnico’s gold production to 2 million ounces a year by 2020, about 20 percent more than last year’s output of 1.66 million ounces.

“This is very much low-risk, high-quality growth because it’s an extension of what we’ve been doing for the last many, many years,” Chief Executive Officer Sean Boyd said in an interview at the company’s Toronto offices. Continue Reading →

Don’t expect another commodities supercycle but oil at $60 is better than $30 for your portfolio – by Olev Edur (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

“We’ve had a ten-year supercycle and then a five-year blow-off.” That’s how Drummond Brodeur, senior vice-president and global strategist with Signature Asset Management (a division of CI Investments) in Toronto, succinctly sums up the past 15 years for Canadian markets.

While the panic selling of early 2016 gave way to something of a rebound throughout the rest of the year — a “still alive bounce” — Brodeur offers an even more succinct summary of the outlook for Canadian markets going forward: “Meh.”

“We saw oil go down below US$30 and now it’s back to US$50, but it’s not going back to US$100 any time soon,” Brodeur says. “Maybe US$60, but we won’t see a resumption of the supercycle that occurred between 2001 and 2011. It’s not exciting, but US$60 is a lot better than US$30, and the market should be much more stable going forward.” Continue Reading →

Sisson mine owners see share price climb 56% in weeks before Maliseet deal – by Robert Jones (CBC News New Brunswick – February 15, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/

New Brunswick government says deal was announced as soon as possible after being confirmed by First Nations

Northcliff Resources Ltd., the Vancouver-based firm behind the proposed tungsten–molybdenum open pit mine and processing facility outside Stanley saw its stock price jump 56 per cent between Dec. 15 and Feb. 9, according to Toronto Stock Exchange trading archives.

The price escalation began roughly at the same time the province and Maliseet First Nation communities came to a deal about the mine.

“It was in December, mid–December — around early to mid–December,” said Chief Patricia Bernard of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation about when she and five other chiefs agreed not to oppose the mine in exchange for a deal with the province on tax sharing on gasoline and tobacco sales. Bernard said documents formalizing the December agreements were then signed on Jan. 31. Continue Reading →

‘Timing is key’: Supercycle effects still loom over long-term fund returns – by Olev Edur (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Looking at the latest 15-year fund performance figures, you’d think that Canadian equities are absolutely the best investments in the world, especially the small and mid caps. Resource and precious metal funds, despite ongoing commodity headwinds, don’t look too shabby either.

Those were among the top-performing categories in the Canadian mutual fund universe for the 15-year period ended Dec. 31, 2016, according to data provided by Fundata Canada Inc. Real estate equities (a small category comprising just three funds with 15-year track records) and energy equity funds rounded out the Top 5, even though oil prices now hover around the US$50 per barrel mark. Canadian dividend/income equity funds held sixth place in terms of 15-year performance.

The implications of Table 2 (below), which lists the Top 15 out of 28 total funds that achieved double-digit 15-year returns through 2016, are even more dramatic: The vast majority of these funds were Canadian equities and most were also in the small/mid-cap space. Continue Reading →

Road to the Ring of Fire – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – February/March 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Noront is eager to begin development at Eagle’s Nest, the first of many mines

Spirits were high in March 2015 when the Ontario government announced at the PDAC it was moving forward with an allweather road into the Ring of Fire. Here we are almost two years later, and what do we have for the more than $750,000 in tax dollars that were spent? The answer: Not much. The province has consulted with various First Nations who would welcome a road. It has yet to announce a plan, route or schedule for construction.

Seeing the politicians make a decision and actually build a road is the one thing Alan Coutts, president and CEO of Noront Resources, says is vital to get the Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium development under way. The company discovered the deposit in 2007 and sparked a staking rush that made the Ring of Fire the most written about new camp since Hemlo.

The Ring of Fire lies about 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont. The area is centred on McFaulds Lake on the edge of the James Bay Lowlands. As many as nine First Nations may be impacted by mineral development, making consultation complex. Continue Reading →

Teck profit climbs on higher coal prices; demand cooling – by Susan Taylor (Reuters U.S. – February 15, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

TORONTO – Canadian miner Teck Resources Ltd reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, lifted by a surge in the price of coal for steelmaking, but said weaker demand in recent weeks was eroding prices and sales.

Teck, the largest producer of steelmaking, or coking, coal in North America, said customers appear to be drawing down inventories following a fourth-quarter buying binge, sparked by global supply worries that were ultimately unfounded. The Chinese New Year holidays also crimped demand.

Shares of the Vancouver-based company, which also mines copper, gold and silver, were down 4.3 percent at C$31.27 in early trading. Teck forecast steelmaking coal sales of approximately 6 million tonnes in the first quarter, down from 7.3 million tonnes in the fourth quarter. Continue Reading →

Proud Canadian mining sector for a strong nation – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – February/March 2017)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Canada is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation. In 1867 the founding fathers met in Charlottetown built the foundation of a nation truly “strong and free”. They did a very good job, too. We can savour their hard work as we join in various celebrations around the country.

One of the reasons to be proud of Canada is its vast storehouse of natural resources and the men and enterprises that put us among the world’s premier mineral producers – gold, uranium, potash, base metals, diamonds, and the metals of the future. Our mineral legacy has also given rise to some of the world’s best technology for finding, mining and processing those riches.

Let’s take a look at the first person to be caught up in our mineral wealth. While Martin Frobisher searched for the Northwest Passage, he ballasted his ships with shiny yellow rocks. What he thought would be his fortune was pyrite, not gold, and his mistake was not pointed out until he had made another voyage and collected even more rocks. The lesson is: Never send a ship captain to do a geologist’s job.

French king Louis XIV granted what are probably the first mineral concessions on Cape Breton Island to Nicolas Denys who discovered coal there in 1672. For the next 200 years mining was small scale, done to meet local needs. Continue Reading →

Tepco invokes ‘Act of God’ clause on Cameco deal, but it seems more like a Hail Mary – by Drew Hasselback (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

Tokyo Electric Power’s move to pull the plug on an agreement with Canadian uranium miner Cameco Corp. is the latest example of a company arguably stretching the traditional use of a force majeure or “Act of God” clause to suspend a contract.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. argues that it has been unable to operate its nuclear power plants in Japan because of government regulations enacted after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The accident was caused by an earthquake and resulting tsunami. Centuries of legal tradition should easily place those natural disasters within anyone’s definition of Acts of God.

You probably can’t say that for government-made regulation, though Tepco’s obvious point is there wouldn’t be regulation but for those preceding Acts of God. Maybe it is legally possible to say those natural disasters started a chain reaction of unforeseeable events, including more government regulation. It depends on the wording of the force majeure clause in the contract between Tepco and Cameco. Continue Reading →

The public backlash rises as the credibility of high-cost low-carbon policies collapses – by Jack M. Mintz (Financial Post – February 15, 2017)

http://business.financialpost.com/

“Offering up unrealistic targets, heavier tax burdens on families
and businesses, and distortionary energy policies that favour
higher-cost but unreliable solar and wind power will undermine
Canada’s economic performance with little impact on
global GHG emissions.”

Despite what you might hear from certain Canadian politicians, governments everywhere are starting to back away from anti-carbon policies as the backlash from voters continues to mount.

We see it in Germany where they’ve begun returning to coal power. We see it in the cancellation of green subsidies in the U.K., Portugal and Spain. And there are even signs of it in Ontario, which suspended plans for $3.8 billion in new renewable contracts.

Something largely lost in the media flurry over President Trump’s executive orders was the Republican Congress’s unravelling of notable fossil fuel regulations. The House passed two resolutions last week: one rescinding “war-on-coal” water-quality standards, and another rescinding a rule requiring energy companies to report payments made to governments to extract oil, gas and minerals. Continue Reading →

Nunavut’s Hope Bay mine pours its first gold bar (CBC News North – February 14, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/

Commercial production at Kitikmeot gold mine expected to begin soon

TMAC Resources’ Hope Bay gold mine poured its first gold bar late last Thursday evening, on its way to commercial production. The mine is located 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay and about 700 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

Construction of the processing plant building at the Doris North deposit — the first of several deposits at Hope Bay expected to be mined — finished in September. A modular style of ore processor made by Australian company Gekko Systems called a “python” was shipped to the site and installed.

Ann Wilkinson, vice-president of investor relations for TMAC Resources, says the company is pleased with its performance. “A lot of the people who witnessed the first pour said that they’d never seen a first bar of gold look that clean,” she said. Continue Reading →

Nickel market rebalancing put on hold as divergent Indonesia, Philippines strategies signal standoff – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – February 14, 2017)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – A rebalancing of the nickel market has been cast into doubt as divergent strategies by major producers Indonesia and the Philippines muddle the outlook, a recent report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has found.

While Indonesia looks to increase nickel exports, the Philippines is shuttering mines, the banking group’s global commodity research team said in its ‘Global Metals Weekly’ publication.

Nickel has seen a significant improvement in fundamentals over the past 12 months. This has been heavily influenced by a decline in nickel pig iron output in China, on the back of Indonesia’s ore export ban. Continue Reading →